|WRAL Investigates “Price and Prejudice in AIDS Funding”|
“Price and Prejudice in AIDS Funding” is the next episode of WRAL-TV’s new documentary series “Focal Point“. The documentary examines the challenges low-income HIV-positive adults face in getting the medications they need to survive. It premiers on WRAL-TV Thursday, October 21st at 7pm.
HIV medications, many of which are made in North Carolina, can cost up to $20,000 per year. The AIDS Drug Assistance Program (ADAP) is a federal program administrered by states that combines state and federal money to make drugs available to low-income patients. While North Carolina contributes more money than most states to ADAP, it also has the country’s toughest eligibility guidelines. In North Carolina a person’s income cannot exceed 125% of the Federal Poverty Guideline or $11,600 to qualify for ADAP. The national average for the ADAP income cap is 300%. The strict guideline and a high HIV infection rate among the poor has led to a waiting list for ADAP in North Carolina. That means poor people with HIV/AIDS have to look elsewhere to get medications they need to stay alive. A bill has been introduced several times in the legislature that would raise North Carolina’s ADAP eligibility cap to 250% or $23,200.The bill to raise the eligibility level has never made it to the floor for a vote. Some say prejudice against homosexuals, IV drug users and even African-Americans, who make up the largest share of new cases, is to blame.
“Price and Prejudice in AIDS Funding” examines the controversy and includes profiles of two HIV-positive adults, one on the ADAP program and the other fighting to be eligible.
Thanks to WRAL-TV’s Clay Johnson for this Capcom story.